Chiswick's 'Celebrity' Antenatal Teacher Retires

The Duchess of Cambridge was one of Christine Hill's last clients


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Chiswick ante-natal teacher Christine Hill announced her retirement this month but has never been busier.

Christine, who has lived in Chiswick for thirty-five years, officially finished classes on July 11th but news that she was consulted by the Duchess of Cambridge prior to the birth of the royal baby, catapulted her onto the pages of the national press.

She and her business partner Barbara Whiteford have helped over 6,000 pregnant women, including many celebrities, in their local practice in W4.

When it emerged that the Duchess had visited the ante-natal teacher's practice, Christine was overwhelmed with requests for interviews from reporters eager to find out what advice she had given the royal couple.

"I can't comment but it was a privilege to see them ante-natally," said Christine, who is a qualified paediatric and obstetric physiotherapist. It was reported that two private visits were made to her practice just before she retired, and on one of the visits Prince William accompanied his wife.

Now that the royal baby has been safely born, Christine can turn her attention to a quieter life in her riverside home in Chiswick.

Christine Hill worked for many years in the NHS, including Queen Charlotte's Hospital, the local maternity hospital for Chiswick mothers. She was a co-superintendent at the former Paddington Green Children's Hospital before deciding to set up privately at home to facilitate family life. She has three grown-up children and is now a grandmother of two. Her colleague from Paddington Hospital, Barbara Whiteford joined in practice with her and women from all over London have travelled to their Chiswick practice for antenatal training and advice for thirty-five years.

Christine says that while the NCT continues to be of great help to new mothers, she had the added benefit of being able to offer a medically qualified team in her practice.

While she modestly says she has 'no idea' why her advice was so eagerly sought-after, she is renowed for a pragmatic, no-nonsense approach to having a baby and for providing reassurance to anxious mothers-to-be.

Her books, which provide practical guidance on what to expect before, during and after the birth, are still available and give advice on how to deal with everything from a baby's persistent crying to a mother's feelings of depression and isolation.

As a local resident for thirty-five years, first in Prebend Gardens, then Netheravon Road and now by the river, she says she wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Her brother Graham Seed, an actor best known for the role of Nigel Pargetter in The Archers lives in Hammersmith. Her husband Professor Peter Hill is a prominent child and adolescent psychiatrist.

"I love Chiswick, the river, Chiswick House, the parks, we're so lucky we have everything here" she comments.

However she does not intend to take the advice she gives to heavily pregnant women to 'put their feet up' and is now looking for a "wreck" of a house to renovate as her next project.

Christine Hill’s Pregnancy Guide  is available from Amazon

July 30, 2013

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